Skip to main content

Lumenation Lumen LED Color; Smart LED Bulbs

Tempted by the thought of a color-changing LED, but too broke to drop hundreds of dollars on the Philips Hue kit? Consider the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb from Lumenation, a $65 standalone bulb that's just as colorful as those Hues. You'll control it on your smartphone over a Bluetooth connection, so there's no need for a hub -- just screw the Lumen bulb in, download the app, and start figuring out whether it's teal, fuchsia, or lime green-tinted light that does a better job of tying the room together. Lumen's app offers a few colorful preset cycles, along with fun features like a music sync mode and a wake-up light, but it isn't quite as smart or as well-connected as the Philips Hue bulbs are. Still, at a (relatively) affordable price of $65, it's a novelty that might feel like less of a risk.

The Good The Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb offers plug-and-play simplicity at a relatively reasonable price. Each bulb's 30,000-hour lifespan is double what you'll get from a Philips Hue bulb.
The Bad The Lumen app only offers basic control of the light, with none of the automation controls or IFTTT compatibility you'll get from Philips. The bulb itself is also a little dimmer than we'd like.
The Bottom Line For basic needs, the Lumen LED Color Smart Bulb might make sense, but consider waiting to see if the app improves, and to see what the competition will bring to the table. For more advanced control of your lights, a Philips Hue setup is probably worth the extra cash.
Part Number: TL800


That said, the strength of the Lumen's hardware is actually a bit bittersweet, given that the software is so much of a weakness by comparison. A smart bulb like this just begs for automation scheduling, but all the Lumen app offers is the underwhelming wake-up mode. The potential is there for conditional, if/then statement-based automation, too -- something we've already seen with the happy marriage between Hue bulbs and IFTTT . But again, the Lumen app falls short, only offering an underdeveloped proximity mode and an incoming call mode that doesn't seem to work all that well.
The bright side to all of this is that apps can get better, and hopefully Lumen's app will do just that and will catch up to its bulb in the process. Fortunately, along with the upcoming Android release, Lumenation is promising major app improvements, including a revamped proximity mode and even a music-syncing feature. If and when those features arrive, the $69.99 Lumen LED bulb might be a tempting way for the color-curious to dip their feet into smart-bulb waters. If you're looking to control more than two bulbs, though, you're probably better off just springing for a Philips Hue Starter Kit.

Popular posts from this blog

Just another Cree LED BR30 @10 US Dollars

Cree's closing the gap with a new-and-improved second-gen model that sells for a much more reasonable $10 per bulb -- less than any of those other competitors. It still lags somewhat in terms of color quality, dimming performance, and heat management, but offers satisfying performance for general household lighting needs. If you've been waiting to upgrade a whole home's worth of floodlights, it's your most affordable big-name option, and a good choice, overall.

Green Creative BR30 Cloud LED; The Hollowed out Floodlight

The Green Creative BR30 Cloud LED looks like something straight out of Star Trek, but the futuristic-looking build serves a purpose. Floating the LEDs up above the body of the bulb reduces the weight of the bulb, and also helps it manage heat better, which, as anybody who's ever owned a laptop that was prone to overheating can attest, is a good thing.

GE 16W LED 100W Replacement LED

Rising efficiency standards spelled the end of the 100W incandescent light bulb. Thankfully, your options have been steadily expanding ever since, with a full crop of new LEDs promising that same level of brightness from a substantially smaller power draw. Of these new bulbs, the GE 100W Replacement LED is one of the best.
The bulb's most impressive spec is that it only consumes 16 watts of electricity, efficient enough to put out 100 lumens per watt. That ties it with Utilitech's bulb, making the two of them the most efficient 100W replacements we tested. Nothing else was able to get above 90 lumens per watt.
GE backs its longevity claims up with a 10-year warranty, the same warranty that Cree offers for its bulbs. That's as long a warranty as you'll find on a brand-name light bulb, and an exceptional deal for skeptics who aren't sold on LED value just yet.